We just had ‘the talk’.
It all started with a simple question. Master10 had just collected a tidy sum of coin from the bottom of a glass of water. As his siblings looked on he pocketed the money under their jealous gaze. So much so, Miss5 had her hand buried deep in her mouth, testing for any loose change, so to speak.
Then Master10 turned to us, opened his mouth and a dilemma fell out of it.
“Is the Tooth Fairy real?”
We have a basic rule that the time to tell kids things is when they ask. But not when they ask this sort of thing in front of their younger sisters.
“Of course,” Tracey said, suddenly busy with dishes.
“You’ve seen Rise Of The Guardians,” I told him. “Now go get ready for school. All of you.”
“Awkward,” mumbled Tracey when they’d left the kitchen.
Well tonight we managed to pull him aside and have a private chat, behind a locked door, about the fairy with a molar fetish.
“You asked a question when you lost your tooth and we couldn’t answer it properly because your little sisters were there,” I said. “Now tell me what you’re thinking.”
“I’m thinking maybe there aren’t really fairies,” he said tentatively. “And maybe you guys put the money in the glass.”
“That’s right,” Tracey said. “It’s just a way of keeping a little fun and mystery about things, but eventually everyone works it out.”
I could almost hear the wheels turning in his head.
“So every time the Tooth Fairy forgot to come…?”
I nodded solemnly.
“Yep,” I said. “That was your mother.”
“So we’re good?” asked Tracey, ignoring me.
“Yeah,” he said. But he looked like he had something else he wanted to ask.
“Anything more you want to know?” I asked.
“Well, since we’re talking, I was wondering about…Santa Claus?”
There was a sharp intake of breath from the other side of the bed as a little part of my wife died.
“That’s an interesting one,” I said as Tracey reached over and touched my leg. It wasn’t a loving ‘I’m with you touch’ but more a warning. “What are you thinking, mate?”
“I was thinking it’s really you guys too.”
“Well, if you must know,” I said, looking at my wife for approval to continue only to find her giving me a death stare, “it is. But the story of Santa is he was a man who did give kids presents, but he’d be about a thousand by now, so…you know…not gonna happen.”
“But what us parents do,” said Tracey, “is sort of like we become his elves. We carry on the tradition. Anyway,” she continued as she stood up, “we should get back to th-”
“And the Easter Bunny?”
Tracey slumped back onto the bed.
“I hope you know, you’re killing your mother here,” I joked with him. “But I’d have thought you’d have worked him out first. I mean, a rabbit that lays chocolate eggs?”
“Are we done?” snapped Tracey.
“I’m just trying to remember who else is in Rise of the Guardians,” said Master10. “Jack Frost. Sandman.”
The look on Tracey’s face told me she’d worked out where he got the idea to look a bit closer at that movie. She dragged me over the coals later, saying if I felt the need to bring up a movie I should have stuck to The Rock’s Tooth Fairy so as only to kill off one magic moment at a time. But to honest I think I did her a favour: I doubt her heart could take this more than once per child.
Naturally we’ve elicited a promise to keep his mouth shut around his youngers and, when one of them
does finally ask the question, to quietly bring them to us.
“When the last of the little kids stops believing, Santa stops coming,” I warned him.
That usually holds things in check for a while.
So hopefully, for Tracey’s sake, we don’t need to have ‘the talk’ for another Christmas or two.
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~ raising a family on little more than laughs ~